"One of the less well-known of Shakespeare’s plays, is a unique experience in the sense that the audience will probably not already know the plot from cultural osmosis or studying it at school. There is no waiting around expectantly for the famous lines like there would be when watching Hamlet, for instance. It tells the story of Timon, a wealthy Athenian, who transforms from an affluent, contented figure into a poor, resentful one. The play has an ambiguous background, as scholars generally believe that its current form is unfinished, not appearing as well-written and sophisticated as other Shakespearean works. A widely-accepted theory is that it was probably a collaboration between Shakespeare and another playwright, possibly Thomas Middleton.
This controversial play follows the declining fortunes of a man of extravagant contradictions.The fabulously rich Timon believes all his friends to be as open-hearted and generous as himself. When his wealth suddenly evaporates, however, he discovers the truth and his altruism turns to a bitter hatred of mankind. Stirred up by the cynical Apemantus, Timon retreats to the woods where he plots the destruction of Athens, the city that had formerly seemed to embody everything pleasurable and civilized. The cosmic scope of his hatred is communicated in a series of powerful and disturbing dramatic tableaux. "